Should be reading more and writing less, but well...

Sunday, April 30, 2006


O Discipline, Where Art Thou?

I read Lapierre and Collins's "Freedom at Midnight" and am incredibly moved, even sobbing many times during the book, and make a promise to myself that I'll learn more about India, and esp. the Partition. So, I pick up Sucheta Mahajan's "India and Partition: the Erosion of Colonial Power in India," and start it with great enthusiasm. At around the 20th page, when going forward with any reasonably degree of continuity requires looking up citations, making notes, and higher levels of concentration, I switch to some pulp fiction.

I love Sidney Lumet's "12 Angry Men" and "Network", and when I spot his book - "Making Movies," on the book stand, I pick it up greedily. I kind of fancy myself as a movie maker in the making, and this book is a must-read for all amateurs. I finish a third of it, and when Lumet starts talking about camera positions, lenses, lighting, and subtler aspects of screenplays, I start watching "12 Angry Men" again. I like re-runs.

As is usual with many a new concept, Samba mentions Prisoner's Dilemma in one of our conversations, and I am into Game Theory from that moment. People are explaining human behaviour using formal theory! This, like many before have come and gone for me, has to be it. The truth must be hidden somewhere in these games. I read up on Nash Equilibrium, Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma, and other popular Game Theory material online, and buy a standard text book to get deeper into it. After reading the table of contents, preface, acknowledgments, and introduction, I lend the book to a friend.

Hofstadter, "Dancing Wu Li Masters," "Society of Mind," "Siddharatha," Sartre, Probability, "Crime and Punishment," "Naked Ape," and among many others, surprisingly, even Lolita has gone through this phase with me. That sentence construction kind of absolves me from any blame; but I know better. I got back and finished Lolita, but the rest of them await. It's just a matter of 'when,' and of course, not a matter of 'if-ever.'

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